Living Streets Alliance is saddened to learn of the passing of Alex Van Slyke. Our condolences and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.
At the suggestion of Alex’ parents, Clague and Marjorie, Living Streets Alliance is receiving donations in Alex’s memory. We are honored and humbled by this gesture and are filled with renewed energy to bring more light into the world as Alex did. In his father Clague’s words:
Alex was a gifted musician and a great friend. His passions were music, friends, meeting new people and riding his bike simply for the joy and freedom of riding. An unstructured day being out and about on a bike enjoying the ride, meeting people and sharing the joy sums up Cyclovia and is a fitting tribute to Alex.
Here is Alex’s obituary:
Alexander Clague Van Slyke beloved son and brother, passed away on March 21, 2013 after an unexplained cardiac arrest suffered on March 16, 2013. He was born in Tucson on December 19, 1989 and attended Peter Howell, Alice Vail and Rincon High where he made many lifetime friends. Alex was a creative mind with extraordinary gifts of wit, eloquence, ready humor and irreverent charm. Alex always heard music. In 4th grade he was captivated by a jazz concert and in 5th grade he started playing jazz. He quickly demonstrated an incredible aptitude and passion for jazz saxophone. His knowledge, skill and hunger to learn and play led to many awards and commendations. He followed his dream of studying and playing in New Orleans when he earned a scholarship to the University of New Orleans where he played with many of the greatest names in jazz. Alex performed in clubs, concerts and at jazz festivals in the US and Europe. His last public performance in New Orleans was at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Music was a spiritual quest for Alex who felt that improvisation was the highest expression of self and a connection to greater consciousness. More important than his musical abilities was his love for his friends and his ability to relate to people. He enjoyed people and desired to learn from all perspectives. All people were equals and everyone deserved respect. He always had an open heart. He had strong passions and lived life at a deep and intense level. We are thankful Alex shared our life. He taught us about love and friendship in the face of adversity. Many wonderful teachers, mentors and fellow musicians saw the same qualities in Alex and helped steer him along the river of life. He enriched many lives in ways we may never fully know as his spirit lives on in more than his music. Alex is survived by parents, Clague and Marjorie (Perry) Van Slyke; brother, Nicholas; sister, Laura; grandmother, Sally and many aunts, uncles and cousins. We thank the staff at UMC Diamond Children’s Center 3 West ICU for the care and compassion shown to Alex and our family. We are comforted by the thoughts that Alex is with his grandparents, Clague Van Slyke, David and Betty Perry and his aunt, Melissa Van Slyke, that perhaps he is playing with ‘trane, Bird and Miles, that he inspired someone to pursue a dream and that he made people happy as they listened to him or shared a joke. A Celebration of Alex’s life will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at First Christian Church, 740 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona with a reception to follow. In Alex’s honor – call a friend or family member, take a bike ride with the journey as the destination, listen to music, slow down, laugh and show kindness to a stranger. Consider donating blood, learning CPR or riding with Alex in the Cyclovia events on April 7th and 28th. Contributions to Living Streets Alliance/Cyclovia in lieu of flowers are welcome. Alex would never say good-bye – he always parted wishing you “peace” or “have a good day.” Arrangements by HUDGEL’S SWAN.